Open carry in Delaware does not require a permit. However, there are still laws you must abide by to legally open carry in the state.

Counties and municipalities can also enact laws to limit the usage and possession of firearms in areas within their territory.

Before you openly use your firearm in Delaware, there are a lot of things you must know.

Delaware Gun Law Summary

Delaware issues firearm permits at the local prothonotary office. This permit is only for concealed carry in the state.

Delaware is a may-issue state, and the attorney general has the power to accept or deny a CCW permit in the state based on discretion.

The state firearm permit is for residents of the state. Only the attorney general can issue permits to non-residents, based on their employment status, and if they own a property in the state.

There is no purchase permit to buy firearms in Delaware; neither is there a firearm registration or license to own a firearm.

You must complete a mandatory NICS criminal record background check to apply for the permit and also for the transfer of firearms.

Private sales are strictly through a licensed dealer in the state, except the transfer involves immediate members of a family.

The licensed dealer, in this case, will be in charge of the background check.

Another exemption is a transfer to someone who already has a Delaware firearm permit.

Is Open Carry Legal In Delaware?

Yes. You have legal rights to open carry in Delaware as long as you meet the age requirement of eighteen.

Delaware allows local restrictions to open carry. Therefore, you have to be familiar with open carry regulations in the county you live in.

Also, the state has general location restrictions for areas where you can possess a firearm and places where you cannot do so.

Delaware Open Carry Law

Delaware is a permissive open carry state, and this means that you can openly use your firearm in the state without a permit.

Firearms accepted for open carry in Delaware are rifles, shotguns, handguns, and long barrel firearms.

Delaware does not permit assault weapons for open carry in the state.

You will be prosecuted as a felon if you buy, sell, transfer, or possess a machine gun or any other semi-automatic firearm in the state.

You can only use a machine gun or related firearms for experimental reasons or research purposes.

However, you must register such a firearm according to the national firearm statute.

The only exception is law enforcement officers or members of the United States Armed Forces in possession of these assault weapons.

Other aftermarket devices banned in the state are bump stock and trigger crank.

A bump stock is a device used to increase the firework from a semi-automatic firearm through recoil and continuous trigger activation.

Trigger crank, on the other hand, is a device which, when used with a semi-automatic rifle, produces more than a shot for just a rotation of the crank.

 Delaware Open Gun Laws Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.No permitNo permitDelaware does not issue a permit for open carry in the state.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoThere is no requirement for firearms registrations in Delaware.  
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoYou cannot make use of assault weapons such as a machine-gun firearm.
Magazine limitNoNoThere is no limit for magazine capacity for firearms used in the state.
License for the owner of a firearm.NoNoDelaware does not issue licenses to own a firearm in the state.
Red flag lawYesYesLaw enforcement agencies can issue a restriction order to someone that is a threat to himself/herself or the society after a petition submitted to the law court.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesDelaware is a castle doctrine state with no duty to retreat in dwelling places. This is a medium of self-defense in the state.
Background check for private dealersYesYesYou must complete a criminal record background check before applying for a firearm permit or purchasing a firearm in Delaware
PreemptionYesYesThere are local preemption laws in Delaware. An example is the county of Newcastle that restricts the open carry or possession of firearms in parks within its territory.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesDelaware issues firearm permits to anyone that wants to conceal carry in the state.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoYou cannot open carry in school, colleges, technical institutions, or universities in the state.

Where Is It Legal to Open Carry In Delaware?

Open carry in Delaware is not possible in the following places:

  • Restaurants and Bars: You can open carry in restaurants and bars as long as there is no prohibition by the owners, and you are not under the influence of alcohol.
  • Personal vehicle: You can open carry in your car, but the firearm must be in plain view at all times, either on your car seat or the dashboard, but never in confinement.
  • Roadsides and Rest areas: You can open carry along roadsides and in rest areas.
  • State/National parks and forests: You can open carry in state and national forests, parks, and wildlife areas, except there is signage prohibiting this.
  • Places of worship: You can open carry in places of worship as long as you have permission to do so, and they do not have signage prohibiting the possession of firearms.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Delaware?

Delaware prohibits the possession of firearms in specific areas; therefore, you cannot open carry in these places. 

They include the following:

  • Schools and educational institutions: You cannot possess a firearm or openly carry in a building or property used by a publicly or privately owned school, college, technical institution, or universities. You can only open carry at least one thousand feet away from these places.
  • School Vehicles: You cannot possess a firearm or openly carry in a school bus or any vehicle leased or rented by schools, colleges, or technical institutions.
  • Athletic field: You cannot open carry in athletic fields or any stadium used for a professional sporting event in municipalities, counties, and private organizations
  • Prisons: You cannot possess a firearm or openly carry in prisons, jails, detention, and correctional facilities.
  • Restricted Places: You cannot possess a firearm in any place prohibited by federal gun laws.

FAQs About Open Carry Delaware

Here are some frequently asked questions about open carry in Delaware.

Is Open Carry Legal In Delaware?

Yes, open carry is lawful in Delaware. Although state laws restrict concealed carry of firearms in the state, there are no such statutes for open carry.

According to section 20 of the state constitution, open carry right is protected in the state.

Will Open Carry Affect My Right To Feel Safe?

There are various rights in Delaware, and as much as there are rights to feel safe, there is also a right to carry firearms for various reasons openly.

However, to feel safe, you can prohibit the possession of a firearm in your building or property with a post or signage.

What Is The Age Limit For Open Carry In Delaware?

You must be at least eighteen years old to open carry in the state.

What Is The Age Limit For Obtaining A Permit In Delaware?

You Must be at least eighteen years old to apply for a permit, and twenty-one years old to purchase all firearms in the state.

Is Criminal Record Background Check Necessary For Open Carry In Delaware?

No. You only need to complete a criminal record background check for firearm purchase and permit application.

However, since you do not require a permit for open carry Delaware, you do not need a criminal record background check.

Must I Notify A Police Officer About Open Carry In Delaware?

There is no law requiring that you should notify a law enforcement officer about open carry Delaware.

Does Delaware Issue Non-resident Permits?

Yes, the state attorney general can issue a non-resident permit, but this is strictly for a limited period.

Is Delaware A Constitutional Carry State?


Does Delaware Allow Public Access To Firearm Registry In The State?

No, only law enforcement agencies can gain access to the firearm registry in Delaware.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Delaware

Here are some gun laws related to open carry Delaware.

Ammunition Restriction

Delaware restricts machine guns and semi-automatic rifles. Counties like the city of Wilmington have a ban on armor-piercing firearms.

Preemption Law In Delaware

Delaware has a preemption on gun laws. However, local areas and counties can limit the usage of firearms and regulate open carry in some locations such as law enforcement agency buildings.

Locations that restrict the possession of firearms must have a post to notify people of this.

Red Flag Law

Delaware has a red flag law issued by a court in the state.

Family members or officers of the law can submit a petition to restrict someone’s possession of firearms if they believe that such a person is dangerous or a threat to himself or society.

The court will, as a result of this, prohibit the possession, buying, selling, or handling a firearm in the state.

Brandishing Of Firearm

A person is guilty of misconduct if, during open carry, he/she handles a firearm in a dangerous or threatening manner.

He/she will face prosecution for this, according to section eleven of the Delaware statute.

Open Carry Under The Influence

You are not allowed to possess a firearm or open carry while under the influence of alcohol.

Under the influence in this situation is blood alcohol concentration more than 0.08, or the use of intoxicating drugs while with your firearm in public.

Range Protection

It is not possible to bring up a lawsuit against anyone using a shooting range or a hunting activity that has been taking place for a minimum of one year, as long as the operation does not constitute a nuisance on such property.  

Open Carry While Hunting In Delaware

You can open carry during hunting in Delaware with either a handgun or a shotgun.

However, you cannot open carry during bow hunting in the state.

Delaware also has hunter harassment laws.

The law states that no one shall deliberately disturb or disrupt a legal hunting activity in the state, and this applies to the taking of aquatic animals such as fishes, frogs, crabs, oysters, etc., and the hunting of games such as birds or wildlife animals.

Purchasing Firearms In Delaware

In Delaware, you can possess firearms such as rifles, handguns, and shotguns. The age limit for rifles and shotgun is eighteen, while that of handguns is twenty-one.

Delaware has one of the most lenient laws for firearm purchases in the USA. It was voted as the fifth most comfortable state to buy a firearm.

There are more than a thousand firearm dealers in the state, and there are some shows dedicated to showcasing guns where you can purchase antique firearms from olden days.

Firearms In Delaware

Firearms in Delaware are any weapon used to eject or shoot an object, which causes explosion or combustion after the projectile.

This definition is for both loaded and unloaded firearms.

To buy handguns for open carry in Delaware, you must be at least twenty-one years 

old, a resident of the state, and have completed the criminal record background check.

For a long-barreled gun, you must be eighteen years old, a resident of the state with a completed NICS criminal record background check.

Restriction From Possessing Firearms In Delaware

Not everyone can possess a firearm in the state. If you fall into the following categories, you cannot handle a firearm in the state.

  • Individuals convicted of a felony.
  • Individuals that commit a crime in their teenage years regarded as a felony for an adult.
  • Individuals convicted for a misdemeanor crime that has to do with a felony.
  • Individuals prosecuted with violent crime but deemed mentally incompetent to face trial until at least they restore their firearm rights.
  • Individuals who are drug abusers or users of any controlled substance for at least five years after conviction.
  • Individuals convicted for domestic assault crimes.
  • Individuals that are patients of any mental institution. 
  • Individuals that are subject to any civil order under the statute of Delaware law.
  • Individuals that are subject to any family protection law in the state.
  • Individuals that are subject to protection order from any form of threat. They cannot possess a firearm for the duration of the order.

Additional Resources

Delaware Gun Laws
Delaware Concealed Carry Laws
Delaware Gun Permit Laws

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